About Avi Schaefer
Avi Schaefer, z''l, was born June 11, 1988 to Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaefer and artist Laurie Gross. Avi was raised in a loving Jewish home in Santa Barbara, California, with his brothers Noah, Yoav, and Elisha. At age 18, Avi and his identical twin Yoav volunteered to serve as combat soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces. Avi served in the army for three years, first as a soldier in a special forces unit and later going on to train some of Israel's most elite units as a counter-terrorism instructor. Upon completion of his army service, Avi returned to the United States to begin his studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
In his few months at Brown Avi quickly distinguished himself as an accomplished student and a trusted voice for Israel and for peace. Avi gracefully balanced his two passions, championing the Jewish state while simultaneously establishing deep lines of communication with students who held differing perspectives. His life and work were tragically cut short on February 12, 2010, when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver while walking near campus. In just 21 years, Avi became a living testament to the idea that one committed individual can truly make a difference. His example leaves an indelible mark on this world in the lives of the people who knew him, and the thousands more inspired by his legacy of activism and compassion. It is now the task of his family and friends to carry on the work he began.
Remembering Avi »
Latest News From The Fund
Our fourth annual Jerusalem Symposium will take place on Thursday, March 20, 2014.
We will explore The Israeli - Palestinian Conflict in Our Lives: How it Impacts our Values, Culture and Identity.
The symposium will feature Ari Shavit, author of "My Promised Land" and Jodi Rudoren, Jerusalem Bureau Chief of the New York Times.
Registration is filling up quickly, please sign up here.
Thank you to the over 200 people who joined us last Sunday at the Inaugural Avi Schaefer Fund North American Symposium in partnership with Mechon Hadar. It was a powerful and beautiful day of learning, community and connection in Avi's memory.
The Fund is dedicated to developing opportunities to foster Avi's values of empathy, mutual respect and active listening. The Fund is also committed to empowering students (undergraduate and graduate) to see themselves as change agents on their campuses and in their communities, and instilling them with tools to engage in open and civil discourse. Therefore, we are pleased to share the launch of Avi Shabbat 2014 and our new program, ASF Innovation Grants.
ASF is still accepting applications for Avi Shabbat. Our Innovation Grant Cycle for the 2013-2014 academic year is complete, please check back for updated information on our 2014-2015 Innovation Grant Cycle.